IL Reps. Support Funding for Waterways
IL Corn celebrates Illinois’s bipartisan effort as three of the organization’s four targeted districts requested that funding for river infrastructure be included in the FY2024 House Energy and Water Appropriations bill.
The $75 million is part of the Community Project Funding (CPF) process and was supported by Reps. Darin LaHood (IL-16), Eric Sorensen (IL-17), and Nikki Budzinski (IL-13). IL Corn requested the same support from Rep. Mary Miller in District 15, but her office declined. The CPF allows Members of Congress to ask for funds through the appropriations process for projects in their districts. The funding will support the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) by constructing new 1,200-foot locks at locks in Peoria and LaGrange on the Illinois River and lock 20 through 25 on the Mississippi River.
Community Project funds are supported at 65% by the federal government and 35% by the Inland Waterway Trust Fund. Farmers indirectly pay into the trust fund through diesel taxes placed on barge companies transporting products along the rivers.
“In central and northwestern Illinois, the inland water waterway system and locks and dams infrastructure are vital to the economic and environmental sustainability of our communities,” said Congressman LaHood. “Inclusion of our funding request for the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway in the FY24 House Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill is a win for Illinois, especially in our rural and downstate communities. I am proud to continue our strong, bipartisan support for these important Illinois resources.”
“Family farmers in Central and Southern Illinois rely on the Mississippi River to transport their commodities to the global market. But the locks and dams they depend on are nearly a century old,” said Congresswoman Budzinski. “By modernizing our inland waterway infrastructure, we can help our family farmers get their corn and soybeans to market more quickly and ensure that these critical transportation routes are sound for years to come.”
"This historic investment in Illinois' waterway infrastructure would help our state's agriculture and economy boom like never before, solidifying our region as a leader in producing the corn and soybeans that feed the world," said Congressman Sorensen. "I'm urging the House and Senate to swiftly pass the bill with this critical funding to support our farmers and working families across Central and Northwestern Illinois.